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Biden’s first 100 days in 10 charts

Saiem Jalil
Saiem Jalil
Analyst, Deals Intelligence at Refinitiv

U.S. President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office saw records in both M&A and capital markets, with the S&P 500 recording a stronger performance than any other president in recent history. We dive into the data for his first 100 days, alongside a historical look at previous presidential administrations.

  1. U.S. M&A deal-making continued to dominate following on from a resurgent second half of 2020 with target M&A totaling US$816 billion, the highest total for a U.S. President’s first 100 days since records began in 1980.
  2. On the strength of the vaccine rollout, U.S. equities reached record highs, with Biden recording a stronger performance on the S&P 500 than any other president in recent history, edging past Obama’s return of 8.4%.
  3. Biden was second to Obama on oil performance and ranks on the lower end of Nasdaq 100 performance during the first 100 days.

2020 was a year like no other with the start of the pandemic influencing deal-making and capital markets throughout. It was also the year of another U.S. election during unprecedented times and resulting in the selection of new U.S. President Joe Biden.

With Biden’s inauguration back in January, the 100-day mark has passed with the president promising to focus on a series of issues facing the country, from immigration and the economy to vaccinations, infrastructure and climate change. Markets have rallied with corporate, consumer and investor confidence rising largely due to the vaccine rollout, and equity markets across major U.S. indices reaching record highs.

To help better contextualize and analyse the Biden administration’s first 100 days, we charted U.S. activity across M&A and capital markets alongside a historical look at the first 100 days of the six previous presidential administrations.

Record levels in M&A led by the U.S.

While some may have thought M&A would have been jeopardized significantly with a change in the administration, M&A experienced record levels globally, largely driven by the U.S. Comparing the first 100 days since the inauguration of the last six presidents, 2021 witnessed the highest level of M&A compared to any other period, with US$816.5 billion in deal value.

Inbound M&A reached its highest level for the first 100 days of a U.S. President with US$191 billion in M&A transactions.

Since Biden’s inauguration, 31% of U.S. M&A has come from technology-related deals with a combined deal value of US$250.9 billion followed by Industrials, accounting for 19% of total U.S. M&A in the first 100 days.

Low interest rates fuel record equity and debt issuance

Capital markets witnessed record levels of equity and debt issuance pouring into world markets as companies rushed to raise capital and take advantage of record-low interest rates. U.S. equity and equity-related proceeds during Biden’s first 100 days was the highest 100-day period on record with US$136.8 billion in equity issuance. The second-highest total for this period was for Donald Trump’s first 100 days with US$64.8 billion in related proceeds.

U.S.-listed IPOs in 2021 (excluding SPACs) recorded the best start to the first 100 days of a newly elected president with US$47.8 billion in related proceeds. Second to this was during Trump’s first 100 days with US$14.4 billion in proceeds, followed by Bill Clinton’s first 100 days with US$12 billion, which was also the start of the dot-com boom.

U.S. investment-grade debt during Biden’s first 100 days totaled US$330.5 billion, a record high for the first 100 days of a U.S. President. U.S. high-yield debt saw record levels with US$130 billion of proceeds raised in the first 100 days of Biden’s Inauguration. Trump’s first 100 days placed second with US$69 billion in proceeds.

Vaccine rollout boosts market optimism

Equity markets across major U.S. indices have recorded all-time highs with market optimism related to the vaccine rollout and the confidence of U.S. companies continuing to rise. As of April 29th, 143.7 million Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, or 43% of the U.S. population, providing investor confidence.

Since Biden’s Inauguration, the S&P 500 has grown 8.5%, registering the highest return of any first-term president in 40 years and edging above Obama’s 8.4% return during his first 100 days in office. The Dow Jones is also up 8.6% in Biden’s first 100 days, besting the second-highest return during George H.W. Bush’s first 100 days with a growth of 7.5%.

While the equity market has grown, there has been a prominent rise in the growth of alternative currencies with Bitcoin growing 63% since Biden’s inauguration.

While WTI Crude oil is up 19.4%, Barack Obama’s first 100 days recorded a rise of 32% of WTI crude oil, the best start to the first 100 days of a U.S. president since 1980. The largest fall of the first 100 days in Crude Oil of a U.S. President was George W. Bush with a 10% decline throughout his first 100 days.

Will this upwards trajectory continue in the next 100 days? U.S. economic growth indeed accelerated in the first quarter and is expected to continue, but market participants will be watching the Biden administration’s ongoing management of the pandemic, ambitious legislative agenda and the range of other issues addressed in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week.

Go deeper into the data with the full chart pack on Biden’s first 100 days.

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